Spending years writing new environmental legislation does not mean it will become law, a lesson some student policy writers learned the hard way.
Four University of Washington (UW) graduate students spent the last year and half writing new environmental policies for the Washington state legislature to satisfy a law requiring the state to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Andrea Fassbender, Ashley Maloney, Seth Bushinsky, and Emily Newsom were all working toward passing new legislation that would fulfill a 2008 law that requires Washington state to reduce greenhouse gas emission to 1990 levels by the year 2020. The four provided support for State Senator Kevin Ranker (D) through a collaboration with UW’s Graduate Education and Research Traineeship (IGERT) Program on Climate Change.
Ranker had joined the Climate Legislative and Executive Workgroup, a bipartisan working group, to come up with a solution. To add scientific input, Ranker was connected to the graduate students who were then put to work helping analyze documents, performed research, and attended public forums to move environmental legislation forward.